The introduction of the new McLaren 600LT marks both the beginning of the next chapter in the ‘Longtail’ story and the setting of a new benchmark for super-sportscar performance. Built to excel in equal measure on track and road, the 600LT is the fastest, most powerful and most track-focused – yet road legal – McLaren Sports Series yet created.
The new McLaren 600LT epitomises the McLaren philosophy of producing lightweight super-sportscars that deliver extreme performance and are exceptionally rewarding to drive. With the engine management system of the 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 recalibrated and reduced back pressure from a top-exit exhaust system that is even shorter and more extreme than that of the McLaren Senna allowing the engine to breathe more freely, the 600LT can call on peak power of 600PS (592bhp) at 7,500rpm and a maximum torque output of 620Nm (457lb ft) at 5,500-6,500rpm. These outputs deliver astonishing levels of performance: 0-100km/h (62mph) takes just 2.9 seconds, matching the acceleration of the revered McLaren 675LT. 0-200km/h (124mph) is achieved in a remarkable 8.2 seconds and the 600LT can continue gathering speed to a top speed of 328km/h (204mph).
Inspired by the renowned McLaren 675LT models and their iconic ‘Longtail’ McLaren F1 GTR racing predecessor, the new addition to the LT family has all the physical hallmarks of a true McLaren ‘Longtail’, including an extended front splitter, lengthened rear diffuser, fixed rear wing and elongated silhouette – in this case by 74mm compared to a McLaren 570S Coupé. The unique bodywork optimises aerodynamic performance, working in conjunction with a flat carbon fibre floor to produce 100kg of downforce at 250km/h (155mph) that generates the increased grip and greater high-speed stability that is a significant contributor to the 600LT’s excellence on a track.
Extensive use of carbon fibre – including for the monocoque chassis, the new aerodynamic features and throughout the track-focused cockpit – helps the McLaren 600LT achieve a lightest dry weight of 1,247kg and an equivalent power-to-weight ratio of 481PS/tonne. With the optional Super-Lightweight Carbon Fibre Racing Seats developed for the McLaren Senna fitted, the 600LT weighs 100kg less than a 570S Coupé – a reduction that delivers tangible benefits in every aspect of the car’s performance.
The remit of any McLaren ‘Longtail’ is to engage and excite to the absolute maximum, encouraging and enabling a driver to fully exploit the dynamic performance inherent in the car. The ethos underpinning every aspect of the development of the 600LT was a determination to deliver the purest possible connection between car and driver. To this end, the car has lighter and stiffer suspension components from the McLaren Super Series, the adoption of the forged aluminium double wishbones and uprights not only improving dynamic capabilities but also reducing weight by 10.2kg. Ride height is reduced by 8mm and front track increased by 10mm, to deliver a more precise driving experience. The independent, continuously variable adaptive dampers and front and rear anti-roll bars that feature on all McLaren Sports Series models have been retained but are significantly re-engineered to work with the new suspension geometry and deliver the track-focused performance demanded of the new 600LT.
The adoption of the braking system from the Super Series, which features lightweight aluminium calipers and stiffer carbon ceramic discs, reduces weight by 4kg. Working in conjunction with an all-new brake booster developed using learnings from the McLaren Senna, the result is incredibly responsive and progressive pedal feel during braking and a 200km/h (124mph) to standstill distance of just 117m – only 1m more than a McLaren P1™. Two new designs of forged Ultra-Lightweight aluminium alloy wheels – 10-spoke as standard and a 5-spoke alternative as a cost-option – are the lightest wheels ever fitted to a Sports Series, the reduction in unsprung weight bringing a tangible benefit to the dynamic qualities of the car.
Bespoke P Zero™ Trofeo R tyres – developed with McLaren Technical Partner, Pirelli – feature for the first time in the McLaren Sports Series and this unique track-focused tyre is a crucial element in the enhanced dynamic abilities of the 600LT. Tuned to help deliver the immediacy and steering feel for which McLaren is renowned, as well as excellent rear-axle stability, the ultra-high-performance tyre features a softer sidewall structure than is usual to improve compliance and thereby grip levels by ensuring the contact patch with the ground is maintained, even on less-than-perfect surfaces. By contrast, the belt construction of the Trofeo R tyre is stiffer than on any previous Sports Series tyre, to enhance lateral acceleration and improve cornering ability.
The cockpit of the McLaren 600LT exemplifies both weight reduction and a driver-focused environment. Lightweight Alcantara® trim material is used extensively throughout and the absence of carpet in the footwells and beneath the seats saves 5.6kg, while also exposing the carbon fibre beauty of the MonoCell II chassis construction. The glovebox has been removed and the door pockets replaced with lightweight nets; air-conditioning, satellite navigation and an audio system are all available as no-cost options, not being fitted as standard. Carbon Fibre Racing Seats, first seen on the McLaren P1™ and subsequently used in the McLaren 675LT, are standard-fit and save a significant 21kg.
Like its 675LT predecessors, each 600LT will be hand-assembled at the McLaren Production Centre in Woking, Surrey. Build will begin in October 2018 and last for around 12 months, with production slots scheduled around existing Sports Series and Super Series models, as well as the sell-out McLaren Senna, McLaren Senna GTR and McLaren Speedtail. Availability of the 600LT will be strictly limited, the carbon fibre body panels that require specialist tooling just one of the reasons that the new ‘Longtail’ will be rarer than other Sports Series models.
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